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Flint SOUP Winners

In mid-2022 we were asked if we'd like to participate in an event called Flint SOUP. It was an organization the put on monthly micro-grant dinners, usually for businesses in Flint. The September 2022 program was going to be open to all businesses in Genesee County. People would come, pay $5, hear a 5 minute pitch from 4-6 entrepreneurs, then cast their vote while having a soup dinner. The winner would walk away with all the proceeds, plus any matching grants that evening. We were fortunate enough to have won that grant and here is the speech we put together for it.

The Speech

Good evening everyone! Thank you all for coming out. My name is Mike Crowe and I’m here with my wife, Melissa, to tell you about Mitten Getaways Glamping Company. I’m a

pharmacist, and Melissa is an awesome mom to our daughters Joslyn and Jolene. She loves providing healthy food for our family and gardening, and yes, I’m the nerd. I love technology, spreadsheets, and project planning. We both love the outdoors and serving people.

God has led us down an unexpected path the past few years, but He has been so good to us. Two years ago a low appraisal prevented us from buying what we thought could be our forever home. In the process, we decided to sell our current home and move into a rental until the right home for us came onto the market. Then COVID struck. We still pressed on in our search and in the process we encountered a beautiful 100-plus-acre plot of farmland. It was on a main road, but secluded, with plenty of trees, rolling hills, and a private lake. It was beautiful! We had an idea: we’d keep the crops going but add short-term stays so other people could come and enjoy this beauty. The idea stuck, but my day job kept me too occupied to delve in further. Earlier this year though, I unexpectedly resigned from my job. That freed up some time! For the first several months, I spent a lot of time applying for jobs, but through several doors being opened, we eventually realized our idea could be REAL, and we refocused efforts on our business. And now, I’m here to share how Mitten Getaways Glamping Company intends to provide unexpected getaways in tranquility.

Photo credit: TRU Heart Photo LLC
Supports await the entrepreneur presentations to begin.

Today, people want to get outdoors and experience nature. People aren’t traveling to big cities and don’t want to spend the time and money it takes to get there. Rural destinations are "in". People also want unique stays and unique experiences. Campgrounds, hotels, and bed and breakfasts don’t meet these demands.

Enter GLAMPING! What is glamping? It’s a real word - a combination of “glamorous” and “camping”. It's a form of camping involving accommodation and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping. Think real beds, private bathrooms, kitchens, heating and air conditioning. Imagine arriving at a glampsite where there’s nothing to do but walk in with your suitcase and relax. Sit on your private porch and hear nothing but the sounds of nature. When Melissa and I think about something fun to do as a couple or with our kids, this is what we envision. The problem is that there are very few glamping options in our state. The ones that do exist are all individual sites on small parcels, often in someone’s backyard.

This is where we see the opportunity. This isn’t someone’s backyard Airbnb pretending to be a getaway. Mitten Getaways will provide a resort of unique, year-round, amenity-filled, glamping sites and outdoor activities all on the privacy of a large secluded farm. Onsite, guests can visit the animal farm, harvest from the community garden, hike miles of trails, enjoy the playground, and fish or kayak on the private lake. In the winter, guests can cross-country ski, snowshoe, sled, and ice skate. Venture offsite to check out area restaurants and breweries, festivals, skiing, golfing, and events across Genesee County and the cool cities we have here. Our vision is to be a destination pillar of our community.

To achieve that vision, we first need to find the right piece of land and procure bank financing for the business. We also need area business partners and sponsors. And, of course, we need your votes here tonight. Any help you can provide is truly appreciated!

Thank you again for coming out tonight and for your support. Soon we hope to bring you

unexpected getaways in tranquility!

Photo credit: TRU Heart Photo LLC
Joyfully giving our acceptance speech after finding out we won the grant.

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